Monday, July 22, 2019

Almanac Update: August 1980 (Part Three)

David Chappell's
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling History

AUGUST 1980 - PART 3

Week number three in the month of August 1980 kicked off with a super spectacular Greensboro Coliseum card that featured two bouts highlighting the top two feuds currently ongoing in the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling area. A crowd of 6,231in Greensboro witnessed Jimmy Snuka and Ray Stevens successfully defend their NWA World Tag Team Titles against the top challengers, Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood in a hard fought battle. "Nature Boy" Ric Flair also continued his onslaught against former partner Greg Valentine and despite Ric's spirited win over Valentine in Greensboro, the "Hammer" remained the United States Heavyweight Championship.

During the remainder of the week, the Stevens/Snuka tag team championship duo took the measure of Steamboat and Youngblood first-off in Harrisonburg, Virginia on August 21st. That was followed up with a 500 mile trip to the other end of the territory, to the venerable County Hall in Charleston, South Carolina, where the champs prevailed again the next night. The champs were riding high, also continuing to feed off of a World Wide Wrestling TV interview the week before where they extolled their virtues to the point that the NWA Television Champion the Masked Superstar, also expecting interview time, couldn't even get a word in edgewise about himself, as the champs with their manager Gene Anderson yapped excessively.

The battles between Ric Flair and Greg Valentine also continued unabated during the course of the week. The "Nature Boy" prevailed at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium on August 18th, and on August 21st at the Norfolk Scope Coliseum, along with a disqualification victory in Culpeper, Virginia on August 22nd. Despite that string of losses, Greg managed to maintain a tenuous hold on the U.S. Heavyweight Championship belt.

The four-way battles that were getting cranked up earlier during the month of August between Greg Valentine and "Bad Boy" Bobby Duncum against Ric Flair and Blackjack Mulligan and were almost immediately derailed by Duncum's leg injury, started back up during the week at the Charlotte Coliseum on August 23rd with Ric and Blackjack prevailing. Earlier in the week on August 17th in Roanoke, the Masked Superstar subbed for Duncum as he and Valentine dropped a slugfest to Flair and Mulligan. Likewise because of Duncum nursing his injury, the originally advertised tag team bout in Norfolk on the 21st between Duncum and Valentine against Flair and Sweet Ebony Diamond was reconfigured as a Flair/Valentine singles encounter.

Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion Hossein the Arab, the Iron Sheik, defended his title against Sweet Ebony Diamond twice during the week, slipping by the masked man on August 18th in Fayetteville, North Carolina and at the Charlotte Coliseum on August 23rd with heavy doses of chicanery. "Number One" Paul Jones was also tantalizingly close to upending the Sheik for the Mid-Atlantic Championship in Norfolk on the 21st, but the Sheik once again got himself purposely disqualified allowing him to walk out with the belt intact.

The Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television show for this week was taped on August 20th, and featured two newcomers, former Canadian football star George Wells and a young Samoan grappler, Tony Tossi. While Wells was victorious in his match, Tossi fell in a rugged outing against the Iron Sheik. Also seeing action on the August 20th Mid-Atlantic TV program was the tag team of Paul Jones and Sweet Ebony Diamond, the dynamic duo of Ric Flair and Blackjack Mulligan and the United States Champion Greg Valentine.

In an interview segment during the August 20th Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling TV show, the soft-spoken newcomer George Wells told announcer Bob Caudle, "I've been working long and hard for this moment, and I've finally made it and I'm gonna try to hang around here as long as I can." Wells, as great an athlete as he clearly was, had an uphill climb to make the main event ranks on the very talented roster of Jim Crockett Promotions.

Also on the week's television front, in response to Bad Boy Bobby Duncum earlier telling the television audience that he had been injured and that he wasn't going to wrestle fellow Texan Blackjack Mulligan until he was 100%, Blackjack referenced Duncum while telling Caudle, "I hope the flu is over, I hope your bad cold is over and you're ready to get in the ring...I hope you're 100%! Because Duncum is smart enough to know that he's got to be 100% to get in the ring with me or Flair. Now Bobby D., this is gonna happen...we banged heads in high school, we banged heads in college and pro football all the way up the line. And now people are gonna get to see it brother, with no pads on Bobby Duncum, just me and you!

Ric Flair also chimed in from the interview area exclaiming, "Bob Caudle, we don't take nothing laying down! We want Valentine, we want Duncum, George Wells wants 'em all. And before it's all over, we're gonna throw a party that they're never gonna forget and Mulligan, myself, Wells, Jones, Youngblood, Steamboat...everybody's invited! And brother, some dudes we know are gonna start payin' their dues! Woooo!" The Nature Boy had certainly put an exclamation point on Week 3 as only he could!

We finish out the month of August 1980 in PART FOUR!